While many know Dr. Seuss as the author of more than 50 books for children, many may not be aware of some little-known facts about the “good doctor.”
- He wrote under several different names. His real name was Theodor Seuss Geisel and he used several pennames, including: Theo LeSieg (“Geisel” spelled backwards), Rossetta Stone, Theophrastus Seuss, and (of course) Dr. Seuss.
- He was not a doctor. He added the title “doctor” before Seuss (his mother’s maiden name) while in college to lend credibility to his writings and characters, and in reaction to his father’s wish that his son would get a doctorate.
- He won several major awards, including: two Academy Awards, two Emmy Awards, the Pulitzer Price, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award and a Peabody Award.
- He wrote Green Eggs and Ham on a dare. Ted Geisel’s publisher bet that Geisel couldn’t write a book using only 50 different words. In an effort to make learning to read more exciting for kids, he wrote a silly tale about a picky eater (a common complaint of many parents) and a fellow who won’t take “No” for an answer. The result? Green Eggs and Ham.
- Many of his stories touch on complex social and political themes, some of which were controversial in their day, long before that was the “in” thing to do in children’s books.
Photos © Seuss Enterprises